Friday, November 08, 2013

If I Don't Meet You No More In This World, I'll Meet You In The Next One (And Don't Be Late)

The BBC has confirmed a transmission time for Doctor Who's forthcoming fiftieth anniversary episode. The Day Of The Doctor will kick-off at 7.50pm on Saturday 23 November and end shortly after 9pm (the latest finishing time for a first-run Doctor Who episode on BBC1 ever? I think it might be). The seventy five minute episode, written by The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat, will be simulcast globally and screened in cinemas worldwide.
Meanwhile, BBC3 has confirmed that it will broadcast a new edition of Doctor Who Live also on 23 November. The special - expected to follow a similar format to August's episode, which unveiled Peter Capaldi as The Doctor - will be shown at 9.05pm immediately following the conclusion of The Day Of The Doctor on BBC1. Further details on the 'after-party' - including which stars will appear - are yet to be confirmed.
The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat has alluded to John Hurt's mysterious role in the Doctor Who fiftieth anniversary special. Hurt's incarnation of The Doctor fits into 'a missing chapter' of the show's history, the showrunner confirmed to SFX. 'There's a whole lot of stuff you missed' said the long-running popular family SF drama's head-writer. 'It's a nice thing to be able to say in the show and for no-one to be able to contradict you, that there were years that you didn't know about. We lied and lied - there's a whole big old chapter you didn't know.' Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) also claimed that Hurt's version of the Time Lord is 'a rougher, tougher Doctor' than fans might be used to. 'It looks like somehow he's been through it a bit,' The Moffinator said. 'This isn't a Doctor who's just appeared, he's been around, he's been in this form for a while.'
Typically, a matter of just hours before the BBC was scheduled to unveil the long-awaited first trailer for The Day Of The Doctor, someone leaked it - or, at least a BBC Worldwide variant of it - onto the very Interweb itself. One which had, seemingly, originated from South America (Peru is the current rumour). Which is, of course, all very naughty and wrong and bad and naughty and all that. And, bearing that fact in mind, here it is. And, here are several rather exciting screengrabs from it. From The North brings you these, dear blog reader, not because we want to but because ... no, actually, it is because we want to. Best let Zygons be Zygons, really.
Meanwhile, yer actual David Tennant has suggested that fans 'always expected' him to return to Doctor Who. The actor said that he was 'thrilled' to reprise his role as the tenth Doctor for the first time since 2010 in The Day Of The Doctor. 'I think since I left, the expectation had been that I'd end up in this special, because there is a precedent for old Doctors coming back for a visit around the anniversary time,' Tennant explained. 'I was thrilled because it's a huge thing for Doctor Who and it's a huge thing for television in general.' On the subject of the special's landmark status, Tennant added: 'You're just trying to film the scenes the best you possibly can, so you sort of put aside the idea that you're making something that is a moment in television history. The pressure of that would sort of paralyse you.' David also compared The Day Of The Doctor to anniversary episodes from Doctor Who's past, including 1983's twentieth anniversary special The Five Doctors. 'I certainly remember when The Five Doctors was on, it was electrically exciting,' he said. 'I hope that this will have some of that buzz for today's generation.'
Details have been announced of the Region 2 DVD release of An Adventure In Space And Time - the forthcoming drama looking at the genesis and early years of Doctor Who. The BBC2 production, written by yer actual Mark Gatiss and starring David Bradley his very self as William Hartnell and Jessica Raine as Verity Lambert, is due to be shown on BBC2 on Thursday 21 November at 9pm, following its sell-out première at the BFI on next Tuesday. Now, BBC Worldwide has revealed that the drama will be given a DVD release on Monday 2 December, with what looks to be a reversible cover plus a number of - rather tasty looking - extras.
Fans of Doctor Who can now get their hands on his Sonic Screwdriver gadget, albeit in a virtual form on their iPhones. That's, if they have iPhones of course. Not everybody does. Developer Useless Creations has released Doctor Who: Sonic Screwdriver, an app celebrating the long-running popular BBC family SF drama's fiftieth anniversary, under official licence from BBC Worldwide. The app, which is being sold for £1.49 on Apple's App Store, includes four 3D models of Sonic Screwdrivers from past series of the show, belonging to the third, fourth, tenth and eleventh Doctors – respectively: yer actual Jon Pertwee, yer actual Tom Baker, yer actual David Tennant and Matt Smith his very self. Fans, should they so wish, can activate each virtual device using the 'augmented reality app' then wave it about in the real world, tilting their handset to change its pitch. Although, one would hope they'd do that in the privacy of their own home rather than, you know, in public. Cos, otherwise, they'd look like a reet prat. The app uses the iPhone's camera flash, and promises 'authentic sounds from the TV show.' It's not the first official Doctor Who app. Publisher Random House launched Doctor Who Encyclopedia in October 2011, an iPad app covering the ninth, tenth and eleventh Doctors, with episodes, characters and locations. There is also an official Doctor Who Comics app from IDW Publishing, a Doctor Who: The Mazes of Time mobile game published by BBC Worldwide, a Doctor Who: EyeStalk photography app to 'take photos and movies using a Dalek point of view' and, of course, an iOS version of Immediate Media's Doctor Who Adventures magazine for younger fans.

Doctor Who author, yer actual Keith Telly Topping's good mate and all round top-chap Danny Blythe has - after months of threatening - finally started his own author's blog, which you can check out here. Ah, everybody's doing That Blog Thing these days, aren't they?
And now, some more proper great news; Borgen, the best TV show in the world (that doesn't have the words 'Doctor' or 'Who' in the title) returns for its third and final series to BBC4 on Saturday 16 November. (Of course, it's likely start-time - 9pm - means that there's going to be a rather inconvenient scheduling clash for five minutes on 23 November. Bugger, yer actual Keith Telly Topping hates it when that happens.)
MasterChef: The Professionals topped the overnight ratings outside of soaps on a quiet Thursday evening, according to initial data. The fourth episode of the sixth series attracted 2.87 million at 8pm on BBC2 to see Luke and Scott, the two most constantly impressive chefs from the first week's round of episodes progress to the semi-final. Later, Don't Panic: The Truth About Population interested 1.37m at 9pm, while Mock The Week was watched by 1.05m at 10pm. The fact that a BBc2 cookery show pulling in slightly less than three million punters beat everything - soaps aside - on BBC1 and ITV should, however, give dear blog readers an idea of just what a desperately poor night it was for the main channels. Why do you think yer actual Keith Telly Topping goes out every Thursday? On BBC1, flop drama Truckers climbed by around two hundred and seventy thousand viewers from last week's low though it could still only attract 2.37m at 9pm, a dreadful figure for a prime-time drama even on the week's dead zone night. It was beaten - fractionally - by ITV's own soon-to-be-out-of-here Breathless, which pulled in 2.39m at 9pm. Britain's Secret Treasures appealed to 2.41m at 8.30pm. Channel Four's Amazing Spaces was seen by 1.90m at 8pm, followed by Bedlam with 1.48m at 9pm. Bouncers returned for a new series with 1.30m at 10pm. On Channel Five, Benidorm ER attracted a fraction under eight hundred thousand at 8pm. Countdown To Murder brought in nine hundred and eighty nine thousand punters at 9pm, followed by the latest Person of Interest with seven hundred and seventy three thousand at 10pm.

It was, actually, hard to work out the comedy highlight of Thursday's MasterChef episode: It was a genuinely close fight between scowly-faced Monica mentioning, yet again, just how apocalypticly dreadful Hapless Matt's 'plate of sick' rice pudding abomination from Monday's episode was, thus giving the production team the excuse to show it for about the fourth time this week.
Or, was it sour-faced, full-of-his-own-importance critic (and dick) William Sitwell describing the otherwise very impressive Marcus's pineapple and duck thing (covered with 'a squid ink crumb' no less) as 'one of the most revolting things I've ever eaten'?
It was definitely, however, a pity to see the back of Petrus, the young South African chef whose enthusiasm had so lit up the first week.
TV comedy moment of the week came, as it always used to, on Friday with the latest episode of Have I Got News For You - seemingly back on proper from after a couple of off-weeks earlier in the series. The divine Victoria Coren-Mitchell was, inevitably, the one to come up with the episode's best one-liner. Having observed a rather candid photograph of the show's other guest - the disgraced gobshite former UKiP MEP Godfrey Bloom - up to some sexy shenanigans with a stripper on his stag night thirty years ago, Victoria noted: 'Oh, bless her, she's doing such a good job of smiling, isn't she?' 'I was a good-looking dude in those days, Victoria,' claimed Bloom, unconvincingly. 'You're very good-looking now,' Vicky lied, kindly. 'But, it's possible that standing there in just her pants whilst a man in a suit rubs his face in her tits wasn't the greatest night of her life!'
George Eads will soon be back in Las Vegas. The CSI actor, who has been missing from several episodes playing the popular Nick Stokes recently after a reported 'off-camera dispute', is now slated to return for episode nine of the long-running procedural crime drama's current fourteenth series, tentatively scheduled to be broadcast in the US on 20 November. Eads was last seen this series during episode three, which was shown in October. His absence from the show has not, and seemingly will not, be addressed. In August it was widely reported that Eads 'got into an altercation with a pregnant writer on the show' over what was described as creative issues. 'George Eads will not appear in several episodes during the first half of the season,' CSI producers CBS said in a statement at the time. 'We look forward to him returning to CSI very soon.' For Eads, this was the second time he'd taken some time away from CSI after he was - briefly - fired over salary demands during 2004.

Now for the latest of From The North's recurring series, Examples of things that are, like, totally geet cush, and make the world a better place by their very existence. Today, numbers twenty to twenty three: Bit of a guitar fetishists dream, this next bit. First up, the Epiphone Sheraton II with the duel pick-up.
Next, the cherry-red 1966 Gibson SG.
Followed, of course, by the Vox Teardrop.
And, finally, the Rickenbacker 360 twelve-string.
I am sorry dear blog reader. That last one is just pornography, clearly.

And now, for the return - after a couple of day's absence - of Great Daft Moments From TV History. Today, number sixteen: Vic sings 'Oh! Mr Songwriter' on Big Night Out.
The BBC has announced details of its coverage of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Presenters including Hazel Irvine, Gary Lineker, Clare Balding, Gabby Logan, Ken Bruce, Susanna Reid, Bill Turnbull and Mishal Husain will host coverage over the games' eleven-day run. Lineker and Balding will present the opening and closing ceremonies which will be broadcast live from the Celtic Park and Hampden, with commentary from Irvine and Huw Edwards. Once the games begin, coverage will be broadcast from the BBC's base in Pacific Quay in Glasgow, as well as special events from the channel's pop-up venue. Coverage will kick-off in the morning during BBC Breakfast, before Husain presents the morning's action until midday. Jason Mohammad will host from midday to 3pm, followed by Irvine until 7pm before Lineker takes over presenting duties for the evening coverage. As with the Olympics, BBC3 is hoping to have an extended schedule devoted to live games action with presenters including Dougie Vipond, Lee McKenzie, Manish Bhasin and Dan Walker. Meanwhile, BBC Radio 5Live's line-up will include Nicky Campbell, Mark Pougatch, Eleanor Oldroyd and Fred MacAulay. Established BBC TV and radio programmes such as The ONE Show, BBC Breakfast, The Ken Bruce Show, A Question Of Sport and Who Do You Think You Are? will all broadcast special editions from Glasgow during the tournament. Other Commonwealth Games-related programming will include concerts, documentaries and special events, as well as dedicated content across all BBC Radio Networks.

Alexander Armstrong and Giles Coren have been announced as the hosts of Twelve Drinks Of Christmas. The comedian and restaurant critic - who are brothers-in-law - will 'put various types of booze to the test' (one imagines by, you know, drinking it) in the hour-long BBC2 show which aims to 'create their definitive twelve-strong Christmas selection pack.' And, presumably, see Xander and Giles - two chaps yer actual Keith Telly Topping genuinely doesn't mind at all in the majority of stuff they're in (Pointless notwithstanding) - getting hammered at the licence fee payer's expense. Nice work if you can get it. 'This year, Xander and I are not just getting blotto at Christmas, we're looking into why we're getting blotto at Christmas, and how best to do it,' said Coren. 'We're seeking answers to the big cultural questions such as "eggnog or mulled wine, dear?" And asking "what would Jesus have drunk?"' Armstrong added: 'At last we have the opportunity to nail that most complicated issue that dogs the end of each year: the one that starts with the question "What are you having?" We've done all the work so you don't need to and here - after back-breaking research - we reveal the very best things with which to fill your glass this winter.' The programme was executive produced by Alison Kirkham for the BBC and Claire Collinson-Jones for Hat Trick Productions.

Yer actual Christopher Eccleston and Vicky McClure are among the actors who will read war poetry on More4 during Remembrance Weekend. On 9 and 10 November, More4 will mark Remembrance Sunday with a weekend of poetry and other programming. This year's coverage will include material that focuses on conflicts from World War I to the present day. Noel Clarke, McClure and Eccleston will read works by Seamus Heaney, John Agard, Carol Ann Duffy and Dunya Mikhail in short films to be broadcast between programmes. Last year's poems about World War I will also be featured once again, with readings by Gemma Arterton, Sean Bean, Stephen Graham and Sophie Okonedo. Other programming will include docudrama The Somme, World War I documentary War Horse: The Real Story and a first-person retelling of The Falklands' Most Daring Raid.

Danny Cohen has defended the appointment of an editor to lead BBC4, rather than a dedicated controller. The BBC's director of television said that Cassian Harrison, named channel editor last month, would have the autonomy to run BBC4 as he chose, but could also reap the benefits of working more closely with BBC2. 'He doesn't have to get sign-off from Janice [Hadlow, controller of BBC2],' said Cohen, speaking at Factual: The Televisual Festival on Wednesday. But he anticipated more conversation and collaboration between the two channels which have 'similar audiences. There should be a number of moments each year where they join up and become more than the sum of their parts,' he said. He also dismissed any notion that BBC4 would become an arts and music channel, insisting it would remain a 'mixed genre channel ' identified by its 'characterful, very distinctive, slightly eccentric' output. Cohen told the audience of programme makers that his channels were hungry for new ideas and new kinds of storytelling. Factual on BBC1 was 'ripe for reinvention', he believed, as its new controller Charlotte Moore sought to put her mark on her channel. 'We need to replace some of those older brands,' he said, adding that Moore was looking for documentary series, formatted factual and factual entertainment. Cohen described BBC2 as the UK's 'stand-out factual channel', although now with a significant gap to fill with the loss of Bake-Off to BBC1. 'There's a big opportunity across all the channels to renew, refresh,' said Cohen, who believed the audience was beginning to tire of over-formatted content. 'I feel there is a thirst for authenticity,' he judged, believing viewers disliked the loss of a 'genuine sense of emotion. Things that feel over-formatted, people sniff that out and turn away quite quickly.' He believed many of the best new ideas could be found between genres. He cited two successful hybrids in The Call Centre, a fly-on-the-wall documentary that was edited to comedic effect and the forthcoming NHU's Deep In The Wild, Wild Woods. The wildlife show, which will go out at Christmas to a family audience, had a 'sometimes comic, sometimes entertainment' feel. 'I'm always interested in finding those spaces between genres to do something different.' Access documentary, meanwhile, would remain important, with the likes of new BBC1 six-parter about the Metropolitan Police and Iceland Foods: Life In The Freezer Cabinet. He reassured delegates that the frozen food giant had 'no editorial say' in the programmes, but believed we should be as curious about big retailers as we are about public service institutions. 'We should be going into some of these big companies because they have such an impact on our lives.' On plans for iPlayer, Cohen expected to recruit a controller shortly, with detail of the 'fifth channel's' commissioning budget to become clear in the new year. He said iPlayer would continue to be the BBC's on-demand home for its channels and means of accessing them live online, but it would also feature bespoke content, such as short-form drama. iPlayer would act as a 'nursery slope', he said, with comedy piloting and new director opportunities. There would also be iPlayer channels for different genres and pop-up channels around events, like Glastonbury and Wimbledon. At the top end of factual output, meanwhile, he envisaged a move towards more co-productions 'as audience expectation of scale increases.' He said the BBC was 'doing lots and lots with American partners' and that the advantages of this approach were manifest, 'if we can get the tone and feel of it right. So long as the programmes feel they are made for our audiences and not for a global soup of an audience,' Cohen cautioned.
Two detectives who dealt with a sex crime allegation against dirty old scallywag and filthy rotten rotter Jimmy Savile in 2008 have been referred to the police watchdog. The Independent Police Complaints Commission said that it had directed Sussex Police to 'record and refer' the officers' conduct. The pair investigated a sexual offence complaint against Savile by a woman who contacted the force in March 2008. Sussex Police said that it would 'comply' with the IPCC request and work with it. Which is big of them. Frankly, they don't really have a choice. One of the Sussex Police officers allegedly told the woman that a prosecution 'would be difficult' because Savile was 'a big celebrity.' He and the other officer also, wrongly, told the woman that her claims would 'need to be corroborated' before any potential prosecution could take place. In a Crown Prosecution Service report released earlier in the year, legal adviser Alison Levitt QC said: 'Looking at the documents created in 2008, I found it difficult not to conclude that the officers had, even if unintentionally, dissuaded her from pursuing her allegation. Insofar as she was led to believe that "corroboration" was required before a prosecution could take place, this was wrong as a matter of law.' The two officers are continuing their normal duties and have not been suspended at this time. The IPCC's request is part of a review of material from a number of forces. It said it had also requested 'further information' from West Yorkshire, Surrey and the Metropolitan police forces. 'On receipt of the further information from these four police forces we will take decisions as soon as we can whether IPCC investigations are required,' it said. The IPCC is already conducting an independent investigation into allegations a West Yorkshire Police inspector 'acted on behalf' of the alleged vile and odious kiddie-fiddler Savile by inappropriately contacting Surrey Police ahead of a police interview in 2009. The Sussex officers investigated the woman's claim that the disgraced television presenter and sick pervert Savile assaulted her in a caravan in about 1970 when she was in her early twenties. This was referred to prosecutors, along with three other allegations against Savile received by Surrey Police, but in 2009 the Crown Prosecution Service decided that no action would be taken. The CPS has admitted Savile's accusers were 'not taken seriously enough' and that this was 'a missed chance' to charge Savile while he was still alive and bring him before a court where the allegations against him could be put to him. Sussex Police said that it had 'received a request' from the IPCC in February 'seeking relevant documents' and its view on the potential for any police misconduct investigation. 'We sent a full response to the IPCC in March and received a letter from them on 1 November requiring us to record a misconduct matter in relation to both officers referred to, and to refer it back to the IPCC for their decision on how it should be investigated,' the force said in a statement. 'Recording a misconduct matter means we formally record the potential for a misconduct investigation, and refer it to the IPCC for their decision on what should happen next. There has not yet been a misconduct investigation.' The IPCC said that it had now 'advised' five other police forces from which it received Savile-related information that it did not intend to take further steps in regard to any of their officers at this time. These forces are Thames Valley, Greater Manchester, Cheshire, North Yorkshire and Lancashire. 'After careful assessment of all the information so far available we have determined there is insufficient evidence of any recordable conduct matters specific to individual police officers which would merit a referral to the IPCC,' it said. 'The forces have provided rationale to the IPCC, as requested, for their decision-making in not recording or referring any conduct matters.'

Bloody Davina McCall (remember her?) has been named as the host of a new prime-time 'event show' for Channel Four. The Jump will see twelve - presumably z-list - celebrities (all desperate to get their faces on TV) 'confront their fears' and take part in nightly 'nerve-shattering and dangerous' winter sports. So, it's obviously to be hoped that none of these worthless people should slip and fall over, breaking their necks in the process on live telly. Because, that would be terrible.

Some of the BBC's biggest freelance talent could be asked to join the payroll or leave the corporation, as a new test aims to clear up tax issues. It is part of a clampdown on the use of personal service companies and a move to tax more freelancers at source. The new employment test will be applied to BBC talent from next week, as and when contracts come up for renewal. News presenters Jezza Paxman and Fiona Bruce are among those currently paid through their own companies. The test will involve the BBC assessing how much editorial control it has over an individual's activities. Anyone for whom this is a 'significant' amount will be asked to join the payroll, instead of being paid through a PSC. The BBC has said it will 'assess people on a case by case basis', so it is not possible to say how many presenters will be affected. Nor, indeed, is it anyone else's business apart from those concerned and the BBC. For those with 'a more casual relationship', who only appear on-air short-term or who make and deliver programmes, it is likely they will still be classified as self-employed. The changes are the result of a tax review by accountants Deloitte and BBC auditors last year, which found that eight hundred on-air staff were being paid through their own companies. It was commissioned after a Public Accounts Committee report said that too many staff, in the government and the BBC, 'made their own arrangements' to pay tax and national insurance, which could allow them to contribute less. However the review, published in November 2012, found 'no evidence' that the BBC used personal service companies to help aid tax avoidance. Off-air talent is already being tested, with the BBC estimating around twenty per cent of its sixteen thousand production freelancers may be asked to become BBC employees.

Holly Willoughby has explained her exit from presenting duties on The Voice. As if anyone actually gives a flying frig about nonsense like that. The presenter claimed that her family time was 'too precious' to continue her hosting duties on the BBC1 talent show. And this wretched, risible trivia apparently constitutes 'news' dear blog reader.

ITV has commissioned a new six-part crime drama series. Grantchester is adapted from the novel Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death - the first of a projected six-book series titled The Grantchester Mysteries by author James Runcie. Set in 1953 in the Cambridgeshire hamlet of Grantchester, the series focuses on the life of a vicar, Sidney Chambers, who teams up with Police Inspector Geordie Keating to investigate the suspicious death of one of his parishioners. Sidney is described as 'a tall and handsome man with a love of warm beer and hot jazz' who is 'self-effacing, great company and a true romantic', while his partner is 'a man two inches shorter than he'd like to be, with scuffed shoes and hair not as familiar with a comb as it should be.' Viewers will see the pair's unlikely teaming develop into a friendship, as well as learning of Sidney's doomed relationship with beautiful heiress Amanda Kendall, whose father is pushing her to marry an aristocratic beau. Written by Daisy Coulam, the series will be produced by Lovely Day with the company's managing director and former EastEnders producer Diederick Santer executive producing. Santer said: 'James Runcie has created this brilliant character and this glorious world, which Daisy Coulam is now bringing to the screen in her wonderful and lavish scripts, and I can't wait for ITV's audience to get to know him too.' The cast is expected to be announced next year, with filming taking place between March and June around London, Cambridge and Grantchester.

Don Johnson will lead the cast of a television series based on Robert Rodriguez's cult 1996 film From Dusk Till Dawn. Johnson, best known for his role in the 1980s hit Miami Vice, takes a recurring role as Sheriff Earl McGraw. Rodriguez, an executive producer on the series, will direct the first two episodes of the ten-episode drama. 'If the movie's the short story, the series is the novel,' says Rodriguez. The series will premiere next spring. 'We have assembled an amazing cast and crew, and viewers can expect to be part of a wild ride when the series premieres on El Rey Network,' added Rodriguez. El Rey is a twenty four-hour, English-language network founded by Rodriguez. It will feature original dramas, feature films, horror, SF and 'next-generation sports.' The network will debut in the US in December. DJ Cotrona and Zane Holtz will star in the forthcoming Dusk Till Dawn series as the criminals Seth and Rickie Gecko, previously portrayed on the big screen by George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino, respectively. The series sees the Gecko brothers escaping to Mexico after a bank heist which leaves several people dead. The pair take hostage a former minister - played by Harvey Keitel in the movie - and his family, using their mobile home to travel to the Mexican border. But it is their stopover at a notorious nightclub (populated by vampires) which gave the film its cult following - and brought Salma Hayek to global attention as the stripper Satanico Pandemonium. It also had the hilarious 'Nam flashback sequence! Miramax will be distributing the series outside the US, though not in the UK. No British channel has yet to pick up the series.

Russell Kane - very popular with student, he - is reportedly being lined-up to host a new TV show 'showcasing the best video clips.' So, that'll definitely be worth watching, especially as the idea seems so fresh and original.

BBC Worldwide 'made mistakes' in the purchase of the Lonely Planet travel guide, which it sold in 2013 at a loss of eighty million smackers, a new report has found. The BBC Trust said that forecasts on which the one hundred and thirty two million knicker deal was based were 'too aggressive' and its estimated earnings before tax were 'highly optimistic.' Or, 'a guess', in other words. The commercial arm of the BBC sold Lonely Planet to NC2 Media for fifty million notes. The BBC needed more 'clarity' and 'accountability' for future investments, the report said. BBC Worldwide acquired a seventy five per cent stake in the guide in 2007 and completed the purchase four years later. This was more than just a bad business decision, it helped lead to a shift in how the BBC operates commercially. One of the essential problems pointed out by the BBC Trust was that the deal was 'back to front'. Instead of taking BBC content and making money from it, this was the business people trying to make content and getting the BBC to use it. Given the bad press which accompanied the deal from day one, it was always going to struggle. Of course the BBC is not the only media corporation to get burned with a bad purchase; News Corp's experience with MySpace and ITV with Friends Reunited are both similar cautionary tales. But, this deal has left a lasting legacy for the BBC, when it comes to making money it's best at selling what it does best, BBC programmes. BBC Worldwide, the report suggested, 'seemed to get carried away with the deal' and there should have been 'an effective mechanism' in place to ensure that it did not end up over-paying. It added that 'not enough analysis' was done on the potential downturn in the book market and into whether or not 'optimistic' online forecasts (or, guesses) could, actually, be achieved. The BBC was criticised for the length of time it took to migrate the guide's website to London, with the report adding: 'The task of migrating Lonely Planet's business on to other platforms, especially online and TV, was substantially under-estimated.' It added that a negative public reaction to the deal 'should have been better anticipated and appropriate measures put in place to deal with it.' In 2009, a Culture Media and Sport Select Committee said the purchase expanded an area 'where the BBC has no, or very limited existing interests.' In 2010, a BBC Trust report said the 'scale and nature of the Lonely Planet acquisition' would not be considered again. BBC vice chairman Diane Coyle said: 'The important thing now is that the lessons highlighted by this review are implemented, alongside broader improvements to the strategy and oversight of the BBC's commercial operations. It is important to view the significant financial loss from Lonely Planet against the backdrop of a sustained strong performance from BBC Worldwide as a whole, which brings significant benefits to licence fee payers.'

America's premier broadcast news magazine, Sixty Minutes, has apologised for and retracted a misleading report about the September 2012 attack on a US outpost in Benghazi. The report was presented as a corrective to a web of pernicious lies surrounding the attack. But it now appears that the segment, itself, was fantasy. CBS News reporter Lara Logan, the correspondent who assembled and presented the report, appeared on the network on Friday morning. 'The most important thing to every person is the truth and today the truth is we made a mistake,' she said, on CBS This Morning. 'That's very disappointing for any journalist.' The Sixty Minutes report, which was broadcast on 27 October, charged the US government with mishandling the Benghazi attack, in which ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed. Logan reported that the State Department had failed to take basic security precautions and had botched its response to the attack. The report amplified long-standing criticism from the right of the Obama administration and of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Logan's report hinged on the eyewitness testimony of a former British soldier, Dylan Davies, who was working as a security contractor in Benghazi at the time. Davies claimed to have 'grappled' with the attackers, killing one, and then to have sneaked into a hospital and seen the ambassador's body. Davies was promoting a book, published by a subsidiary of CBS, about his apparent involvement in the Benghazi incident. On Friday, the publisher told the New York Times that it was cancelling the book's publication and ordering stores to return all copies. Davies's account has been looking increasingly shaky all week. Michael Calderone of The Huffington Post pointed out that an incident report by Davies' employer, Blue Mountain, written in the first person, showed that Davies had been in his villa and had not been able to get to the site of the Benghazi mission because of roadblocks. At first, CBS and Logan stood by their report, saying that they had 'always' been aware of the Blue Mountain account, claiming that Davies never signed it and said that it was not given by him. 'He never had two stories. He only had one story,' Logan claimed this week. But, Davies's account crumbled on Thursday when the New York Times revealed that he had given an account to the FBI which matched his employer's report. In fact he was not at the attack site until the morning after and had never been to the hospital, Davies told the FBI. 'What we now know is that he told the FBI a different story to what he told us,' Logan said on Friday morning. 'And, you know, that was the moment for us when we realised that we no longer had confidence in our source. And that we were wrong to put him on air.' In his book, The Embassy House, Davies tells a tells a longer version of the vivid story he told Logan. The book is published by an imprint of Simon & Schuster, a subsidiary of CBS corporation. The network has removed Logan’s report from its web site but it can still be viewed online. Logan introduces the report as a departure from the 'intense partisanship' which has defined the Benghazi conversation. 'The events of that night have been overshadowed by misinformation, confusion and intense partisanship,' she says. 'But for those who lived through it, there is nothing confusing about what happened, and they share a sense of profound frustration, because, they say, they saw it coming. Tonight you'll hear for the first time from a security officer who witnessed the attack.' Then, the camera cuts to Davies talking about his apparently made-up hospital trip. Davies claims: 'I was dreading seeing who it was, you know? It didn't take long to get to the room, and I could see in through the glass. I didn't even have to go into the room to see who it was. I knew who it was, immediately.' Logan asks: 'Who was it?' Davies replies: 'It was the ambassador, dead. Yeah, shocking.' A web page selling Davies's book, which is to be published under the pseudonym Morgan Jones, claims that the book reveals 'the embassy's secret access that no one but Jones knew about – and that allowed him entry as the savage firefight raged on' and promises readers 'Jones's discovery of the murdered ambassador's body and his confirmation that the killing was indeed targeted and sadistically brutal.'

Footballers guilty of violent conduct or involved in off-the-ball incidents will be punished retrospectively even if match officials saw the incident but took no action. Prior to this season, subsequent action could not be taken if a match official had seen an incident - no matter how poor their view of it was something which caused outrage last season following Callum McManaman on Wigan's hideous tackle on Newcastle's Massadio Haidara which went unpunished because one of the referee's assistants allegedly saw the incident but didn't realise how bad it was. The FA tried to address this by adopting a rule change in the summer. But new changes, which come into force on 22 November, will further tighten the FA's disciplinary regulations. It will mean the FA can take retrospective action for violent conduct and off-the-ball incidents regardless of whether they are seen by match officials. Fulham's Sascha Riether was the first player charged retrospectively under the initial changes to regulations governing 'not seen' incidents. However Moscow Chelski FC striker Fernando Torres escaped punishment for scratching the face of Stottingtot Hotshots' defender Jan Vertonghen in September's 1-1 draw at White Tart Lane. The latest changes cover 'acts of violent conduct that occur secondarily to a challenge for the ball' and 'in off-the-ball incidents where one or more match official did see the players coming together, but the match officials' view was such that none of them had the opportunity to make a decision on an act of misconduct that took place within that coming together.' FA director of governance Darren Bailey said: 'This enables the FA to consider acts of violent conduct, like an elbow or a stamp, which have occurred after a challenge for the ball or coming together of players. It is sometimes difficult for officials to see such incidents, as they are often concentrating solely on the challenge for possession of the ball, and we are mindful of this. Also, where off-the-ball incidents are concerned, the policy adjustment will allow action to be taken where an act of misconduct could not have been seen by the match officials, even though they may have seen some part of the players coming together. This is an important step forward for the game and provides an appropriate level of discretion for The FA to consider action. However, we remain of the view that the best outcome for all is that referees are able to make correct judgements on the day to benefit the teams involved.' FA chairman Greg Dyke expressed his dissatisfaction with the current rules in October. He said: 'It is understandably baffling to everyone and must be addressed. As FA chairman I don't like being in a position where I can't explain why we can't take action.'

The debate about modern politics which has thus far brought in Russell Brand, Robert Webb and Jeremy Paxman, among others, has gained yet another participant after slimy Nick Clegg condemned Paxman for 'making a good living from politics while simultaneously sneering about politics.' Which, coming from a man who recently sacrificed every single one of his own and his party's principles just to get a sniff at power as David Cameron's doormat, is, frankly, a bit rich. Paxo might well be a cynical sod, but it's twenty four carat arseholes like Clegg that make his cynicism entirely valid and understandable. If you live in a swamp, dear blog reader, it's probably inevitable that you're going to end up stinking of shit yourself. The deputy prime minister took aim at the Newsnight presenter on his regular LBC radio show, Call Clegg, in the wake of Paxman's argument that he 'could see the point' of Brand's disillusionment with politics and refusal to vote. 'I can understand that: the whole green-bench pantomime in Westminster looks a remote and self-important echo-chamber,' Paxman told the Radio Times, adding that in one recent election he, himself, did not vote as he felt the choice of candidates was 'so unappetising.' Many, many people, this blogger included, know exactly how Jezza felt even if they, themselves, did take part in the process, albeit, with a heavy heart. The odious creeping, brown-tongued louse Clegg was scathing when asked about Paxman's comments, telling LBC listeners: 'Here is a guy who gets paid a million pounds, thereabouts, paid for by taxpayers. He lives off politics and he spends all his time sneering at politics.' As opposed to, for example, politicians who are, also, paid for by the taxpayers, who, let's say for the sake of argument, fiddle their expenses or indulge in sleazy sleaze. Swings and roundabouts, innit? It is the latest stage in a multi-person wrangle which began in a slightly unlikely fashion – Brand explaining his - admittedly, rather airy-fairy - revolution-based political philosophy to Paxman in a Newsnight interview, and has not become much more plausible since. Paxman was at first dismissive of Brand's argument, initially expanded in a long, eloquent if occasionally rambling essay in the New Statesman, that voting was 'pointless' given the fundamental similarity of political parties, a discussion that has since been viewed on Newsnight's YouTube channel more than nine million times and has begun something of a debate on modern politics and people's (particularly young people's) disconnection from it. One of Brand's colleagues in the comedy world (albeit, not a very funny one), Robert Webb, wrote a response in the New Statesman, arguing that it was 'absurd and silly' for Brand to dissuade young people from voting. It's also, slightly, absurd and silly to assume that anything Russell Brand says will be, instantly, obeyed by a mythical number of 'young people', but that's an entirely separate issue. This, in turn, brought a spirited riposte from Brand (sadly, not including him telling Webb to take some lessons from his mate David Mitchell on how to be funny). Clegg echoed Webb's view, saying that to remove yourself entirely from voting and politics was 'a total abdication of responsibility.' Which is true and that's precisely why this blogger always votes - even if it is with a heavy heart with, as Paxman pointed out, an 'unappetising' choice between various shades of complete and utter twat. He said: 'We know that politics is not perfect' - no shit, Sherlock - 'but at the end of the day it is the way that we decide how you pay your taxes, how we support our hospitals, our schools, whether we are going to war or not, how we deal with climate change. Of course it is sometimes unedifying, but this idea that you can just sort of sneer at the whole thing, dismiss everyone as being rogues and charlatans and therefore "I am going to wash my hands of the whole thing" – I think it is a total abdication of responsibility. At the end of the day I have got this old-fashioned view that if you want to improve something, get stuck in and get your hands dirty. Don't somehow pretend that you can turn your back on it.' And, tragically, he has got a point (in that sort of 'even a broken clock is right twice a day' style). It still doesn't mean that, given a straight choice between which person this blogger would sooner have with a say in the running of my life, Nick Clegg or Jezza Paxman, I'd chose Clegg.

Scousers are said to be known for their sense of humour (personally, this blogger's always found many of them to be a bit smart-alec, overly sentimental and rather prickly if anyone takes the piss back and gets the better of them, but, again, that's an issue probably best left for another day). However, Paul O'Grady seems to have mislaid his since of humour, somewhere. And not entirely without good reason. O'Grady has branded his fellow chat show host - and odious wretched, nasty waste-of-oxygen - Alan Titchmarsh as a 'copycat', claiming that Titchmarsh's show booked the same guests as O'Grady's and even stole his stage set. The fifty eight-year-old comedian and presenter of For The Love Of Dogs returns to ITV with his afternoon chat show soon but, it seems, there's very little love lost between him and his rival host. 'If our paths cross in the corridor he will rue the day,' O'Grady told Alan Carr while appearing on Chatty Man this week according to the Daily Lies. At which point a queue a mile long formed of people offering to hold O'Grady's coat if he wishes to stick one on Titchmarsh. 'When he first started doing it, it was our set. Even our hideous topiary, which I hated, was nicked. And everything we did, they did a week later. I am not one to cross if I have a grudge,' O'Grady said, sounding incredibly like someone holding a grudge. Frankly, it would appear there's only one way to sort this situation out - fight. 'I am looking forward to dealing with the gardener and it won't be bulbs I am planting, I can assure you,' he concluded. O'Grady added that he has 'no interest' in booking A-list Hollywood types for the new show. 'When a big guest comes into town, the chat show hosts are like a pack of wolves. I think people in the industry are far more interested in the A-listers than we are,' he added. 'I’d rather have someone from Corrie than some Yank. They talk bollocks, basically. And they moan. If I was being paid fifteen million pounds I would shag a donkey. But I am looking forward to human company because I have spent the whole year with animals doing shows like For The Love Of Dogs. It will be nice to have a job when I'm not peed on.'

Rebecca Adlington has reportedly signed up for I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want). The Olympic swimmer is the latest z-lister to be linked with a spot in the jungle, according to the Sun. She has, allegedly, agreed an eighty grand deal to fly out to Australia next week for the latest ITV series, the tabloid claims. If this is true (and, bear in mind, this is coming from the Sun, so all bets are off in that regard, frankly), then this would seem to be the second most embarrassing thing that Adlington has ever done on television. After getting spanked by a fifteen year old in the Olympic eight hundred metre final, of course.
Kit Harington and Jennifer Ehle have signed on for the [spooks] movie which was recently announced. The pair will join the original TV series' star Peter Firth for the big screen adaptation of the popular UK espionage drama according to The Hollywood Reporter. Bharat Nalluri will also return to direct the film, which will be titled [spooks]: The Greater Good. The film centres around an MI5 agent (Harington) who is investigating the escape of a terrorist during a routine handover. He must solve the mystery in the face of an imminent terror attack on London.

The former BBC political editor John Cole has died aged eighty five. Cole was the BBC's chief reporter during the Thatcher era, and became a popular face on TV and radio, covering major stories including the miners' strike and the Brighton bombing. 'While many people will remember John for his journalism and broadcasting, for us he was the most loving, funny and devoted husband, father and grandfather,' his family said. 'We will miss him terribly.' Cole, who retired from the BBC in 1992, died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Surrey. He is survived by his wife Madge, four sons - Donald, Patrick, David and Michael - and nine grandchildren, who acknowledged the 'many memories of the tremendous happiness he has brought into our lives.' Born in Belfast in 1927, John began his writing career at the local Belfast Telegraph at the age of seventeen. He went on to work at both the Gruniad Morning Star and the Observer, before succeeding John Simpson to the role of political editor at the BBC in 1981. Current BBC political editor Nick Robinson tweeted: 'Sad news. The man I learnt [sic] so much from, the BBC's former Political Editor John Cole, has died. He shaped the way all in my trade do our jobs.' Seemingly, John didn't teach Nick that it's learned not learnt. Sorry, dear blog reader, it's just that particular phonetic discrepancy really gets right on yer actual KTT's tit-end. Anyway, the BBC's Mark Simpson called John 'a journalistic legend.' With his incisive interview style and distinctive accent, Cole was immortalised by a Spitting Image puppet, cementing his status as a household name. He was presented with the Royal Television Society's Journalist of the Year award in 1991 and BAFTA's Richard Dimbleby Award in 1993. Following mandatory retirement after the 1992 general election - having reached the age of sixty five - he continued to work at the corporation on a freelance basis for several years. He also wrote a collection of political memoirs entitled As It Seemed To Me and a novel, A Clouded Peace. BBC political correspondent Carole Walker said John had covered 'an extraordinary era. He was somebody who really brought it to life and who really knew what was going on behind the scenes,' she told BBC News. 'He was a hard-working journalist always there at the right place and the right time.' A spokesman for David Cameron claimed that the prime minister was 'deeply saddened by the news and sends his condolences to Mr Cole's family', adding that he had 'contributed so much to British political life.' Fellow journalist David Aaronovitch tweeted: 'Farewell John Cole. I worked with him for several years at the BBC and he was a lovely, wise (though engagingly irascible) man.'

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, dear blog reader, heeeere's Jimmy (and, Noel and Mitch, obviously).

1 comment:

Mark said...

I don't tweet myself, but my attention was drawn by a friend of mine to this particularly odious and harebrained 'twatter' regarding Victoria v Godfrey and I thought I'd share it with you...

Sarah Pritchard ‏@LipglossAndPudd 8 Nov
busy typing up a complaint to @BBCOne about @VictoriaCoren 's behaviour on tonight's HIGNFY. My opinion: rude, patronising and disrespectful

and...

I disagree (obviously) thought Godfrey Bloom was treated unfairly, and used as a whipping boy throughout

and...

I don't think he's racist just old-fashioned, not intending harm just putting his foot in it accidentally


I seriously, utterly despair. Kids today etc etc etc